New ACCR analysis: investors rubber stamping weak climate plans
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) has published new analysis of the voting records of Australia’s largest super funds and the world’s largest investment managers on ‘Say on climate’ resolutions in 2021.
There were 19 ‘Say on Climate’ votes on company transition plans at 17 companies in 2021, most of which were supported by more than 90% of shareholders. Only BHP’s (84.9%) and Shell’s (88.7%) were supported by less than 90% of shareholders.
Seven superannuation funds supported all Say on Climate resolutions at companies they held in 2021: Active Super (8 votes), AMP (1), AustralianSuper (16), CareSuper (5), NGS Super (5), QSuper (15) and Unisuper (2).
Fifteen global investment managers supported all Say on Climate resolutions at companies they held in 2021: Abrdn (18), AllianceBernstein (16), Allianz Global Investors (18), APG (16), BlackRock (19), Capital Group (10), Fidelity (11), Goldman Sachs (13), JP Morgan (13), Morgan Stanley (12), Pendal Group (3), State Street Global Advisors (17), Vanguard (19) Wellington (18), and Wells Fargo (11).
Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“Investors are rubber-stamping ‘tick-a-box’ climate plans and rewarding companies for transparency and their ‘direction of travel’ as opposed to how their plans will align with the Paris Agreement.
“By endorsing climate plans that include fossil fuel expansion, investors are complicit in ensuring emissions will continue to increase rather than the opposite.
“The Say on Climate mechanism will only be as strong as investors are willing to make it. Approving every climate plan that crosses their desks is not that.
“The significant number of Say on Climate votes coming up in 2022 provide investors with an opportunity to correct this dismal record, elevate their ambition and demand Paris-aligned transition plans from some of Australia’s largest extractive and energy companies.
“These votes will come thick and fast as the AGM season gets going: Glencore this week, Santos next week, and Woodside a couple of weeks after that. Investors must assess these companies’ climate plans on their merits, rather than direction of travel.
“Companies are unlikely to change their behaviour without significant opposition to their plans at annual general meetings.
“2021 may have been the first year of Say on Climate, but 2022 must be the year investors make it count.”
ACCR’s new analysis is available here.
ACCR is a supporting partner of the ‘Say on Climate’ initiative in Australia.
ACCR filed (then later withdrew) shareholder resolutions at Oil Search, Santos and Woodside Petroleum in 2021 calling on the companies to provide shareholders with a ‘Say on Climate’.
To date, ACCR has published analysis of the climate plans of BHP, Rio Tinto, Glencore and Woodside Petroleum.